Autofun Philippines – The redesigned HR-V runs on the same platform as the Civic, making it significantly larger than the older generation. Curiously, the extra width results from Honda Philippines in less rear legroom, although front row occupants get a slight increase. Space aside, the cabin is a nicer place to live, with nicer materials and finishes. The Magic Seat rear seats that can be folded in different ways to accommodate bulky items are gone and were a hallmark of the old HR-V.
Unfortunately, the HR-V’s dynamic driving and poor performance have remained largely unchanged, making the new model less enjoyable to drive than the old model. Fuel economy is also affected. Under the hood is a new 158hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder that delivers a slight boost in power but not much excitement. Paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission, acceleration is sluggish and responsive on arrival.
- Improvements below
The HR-V features a new fully independent rear suspension, making it one of the most powerful small SUVs available. The ride is quiet and bumps are well absorbed. Other upgrades below include a new snow mode for AWD models, as well as standard downhill control for easier navigation on ramps.
- Upgraded accommodation
Inside, the cabin has a more upscale look and feel with more cushioned surfaces, upgraded materials, and a clean, modern design. The upgraded tools and controls are welcome and include a return to physical buttons and buttons for the climate and audio functions. The center console has a handy compartment that opens to the sides and includes a USB port, making it an easy place to keep devices powered up and away.
- Better Infotainment
Base LX versions now come with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard, and a larger 7-inch touchscreen. Top EX-L variants like our test car have a 9-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay. We found the system to be mounted high on the dashboard, very easy to use and responsive, making it one of the best in its class.
- Additional Security Features
The Honda Sensing suite of active safety features is now standard, even on the base trim, and new features include a wide-angle front-facing camera, traffic jam assist, and traffic sign recognition. You also get forward collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking, lane departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and lane departure assist. .
- Slow drive system
Despite the larger engine and significant power boost for 2023, the HR-V still feels sluggish throughout its power range. Moving from a stop is slow, and overtaking maneuvers require foresight and planning.
Unfortunately, the disappointing engine and transmission don’t help increase fuel economy. In fact, the new HR-V travels less distance than the old one:
Front-wheel drive models are rated by the EPA at 28 mpg combined, while all-wheel drive versions drop to 27 mpg. Both are 2mpg down from the upcoming HR-V.
- The magic is gone
HR-V fans will be sorry to hear that the Magic Seat back row is gone, a unique feature that folds the seats up or down to accommodate different types of cargo. In its place is a regular seat with a backrest that folds down, eliminating one of the HR-V’s most distinctive attributes.
- Loss of room
Despite the 9.4-inch increase in overall length, rear passengers will notice slightly less headroom and legroom than the old HR-V. There’s still plenty of room for adults and the redesigned seats are comfortable and accommodating. The HR-V also scored well in our car seat test linked above thanks to ample space for two child seats and easy-access keychains.
- Higher price
The entry price for the HR-V is currently among the highest in its class, with the base LX FWD starting at $24,895 (price includes destination). The best EX-L starts at $28,695, and AWD adds $1,500 for any variant. That equates to an increase of $780 to over $2,000 over the old HR-V, depending on make and configuration.